News Pulse for September 22, 2016

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

Data Dungeon: The Small Business Case For Making ANZSIC Code Information Available

The Federal Government’s  Public Data Policy Statement , released last December, flagged its commitment to make non-sensitive government data ‘open by default’, with the aim being to stimulate innovation and drive productivity improvements across all sectors of the economy.

Nearly a year on, a slice of data with huge potential benefits for the small business community, if made public, remains inaccessible:  Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) codes  and the accompanying activity descriptions.

ASIC company data should be open and free – even Malcolm Turnbull agrees

The Australian government is planning to privatise the management of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission database of companies. This is a potentially damaging move which goes against the government’s own open data policy.

On behalf of the Australian government, ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au currently charges businesses and individuals around A$50 million each year for company searches. The information covers everything from details of shareholders and company officers (A$19 per document) and their roles and relationships with other bodies, to financial reports and records of charges over company assets (A$38 per document).

Aussie start-up BUCKiTDREAM secures $1US million boost from one of Australia’s leading investors

Serial entrepreneur Trevor Folsom has invested $US1 million in BUCKiTDREAM via his member-based investment vehicle Investible and in the process becomes the Company’s largest global investor.

Folsom and Investible are the latest high-profile investors to back BUCKiTDREAM, a dream platform which provides users the opportunity to create their own bucket lists to share with their social networks and also connect with merchants to help achieve and fulfil their dreams.

Melbourne startup Koobee launches with $200,000 in seed funding to help you find the perfect present

A Melbourne startup has launched an app aiming to help you find the perfect present and avoid unwanted gifts with the help of $200,000 in seed funding.

Koobee is an app allowing users to create a curated wish lists of things they’d like to receive for a birthday or special occasion and can be shared with friends and families. Gift givers can then click “grant” on an item to make sure someone else doesn’t buy it too.

Sydney startup Megastar Millionaire raises a further $5 million to expand into Asia

Sydney-based tech company MSM Corporation International has raised nearly $5 million to expand its Megastar Millionaire platform into Asia.

The ASX-listed startup is set to launch its mobile-first, online-only talent discovery competition at the start of next year, and will be using the latest capital injection to also accelerate the delivery and marketing of this and to enhance the user experience.

Government reveals details of its $23 million startup incubator support program

The federal government has revealed the details of its $23 million support program for Australian startup incubators, in what is being called a “really positive” move for the local ecosystem.

Minister for industry, innovation and science Greg Hunt announced the program at Stone & Chalk in Sydney on Tuesday, with matched grants of between $10,000 and $500,000 on offer.

These grants will be provided for the creation of new incubators in areas with strong links to international trade over 12 to 24 months, as the Fairfax reports .

Minister widens Incubator Program funding eligibility

A FEDERAL Government ­rethink on eligibility criteria for funding in the $23 million Incubator Program has been welcomed by the start-up ­community.

When the funding was ­announced, under the ­Innovation Statement, existing ­incubators could access a lower level of funding than that open to new incubators.

But after lobbying the ­Industry, Innovation and ­Science Minister Greg Hunt revealed new eligibility criteria this week.

Melbourne startup claims world-first with 10Gbps network monitoring box

Melbourne-based networking vendor Sinefa has claimed a world-first with the launch of its network monitoring appliance for 10Gbps bandwidths.

The company says its new SF950 hardware probe is the first device built on commercial-off-the-shelf hardware to offer real-time traffic inspection for 10Gbps links, reducing the costs of network management.

Sydney fintech startup testing new blockchain platform

This month, Sydney fintech startup Othera started testing its blockchain lending platform, which makes use of Ethereum blockchain. The public blockchain platform features smart contract functionality and will be used by Othera to deliver a transparent and sustainable way to trade and manage credit, risk and debt. The platform is targeted at operators in financial and investment markets.

CommSec chief Paul Rayson warns upstart start-ups

CommSec chief Paul Rayson has a message for fintech start-ups and other companies trying to steal customers.

“Bring it on,” Mr Rayson said when asked about the arrival of new online brokers targeting niches of the market, such as international share trading.

BHP Billiton vows to keep fighting ATO over $1b tax bill

The world’s biggest miner BHP Billiton has vowed to keep fighting the Australian Tax Office over a $1 billion tax bill mainly involving its Singapore marketing office.

Key points The ATO Australian Taxation Office is chasing taxes dating back to 2003 Those relate to BHP’s Singapore operations and the now repealed mining tax Chief executive Andrew Mackenzie’s pay slashed by around half to $US2.2 million BHP fighting plans by WA to increase mining taxes.

The ATO Australian Taxation Office is chasing taxes dating back to 2003 from its Singapore operations and the now repealed Australian mining tax .

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